After civil servants found excuses to remove more than 6,000 names from a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in UK prime minister David Cameron, the Commons Petitions committee has refused to debate it anyway.
The committee said it doesn’t have the power to schedule debates on motions of no confidence. Oh, really?
Didn’t the same committee schedule a debate on a no-confidence motion against health secretary Jeremy Hunt, in the Westminster Hall, on September 14 this year – after receiving an e-petition with around 220,000 signatures, calling for it?
The petition against Cameron has been signed by more than 188,000 people – almost twice as many as the 100,000 necessary to secure consideration for a debate in Parliament.
But MPs have ruled it out on a technicality which appears to be a lie.
“The House of Commons Petitions Committee has decided not to schedule a debate on this petition, because the Committee does not have the power to schedule debates on motions of no confidence, and the petition does not contain a specific request for action on policy,” according to a statement today (November 19).
“It is usually more effective to start a petition calling for a specific change to government policy or the law, rather than a petition about an individual Minister.
“It is still open to MPs to seek time for a debate on this petition in the main House of Commons Chamber, if they wish to do so. However, debates on motions of no confidence are fairly rare.”
All e-petitions are supposed to receive a response from the government after they achieve 10,000 signatures, but the government has never commented on this one, despite it reaching that milestone around three months ago.
So much for democracy!
We have a Conservative Government that will only listen to the people if they are saying what ministers want to hear.
Its e-petitions website – and the committee – clearly aren’t worth the time it took to set them up.